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11 ‘Then and Now’ Pictures That Prove Not Much Has Changed in the World

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credit: Shigeo Hayashi/ Wikimedia Commons under public domain, and YASUYOSHI CHIBA/ Getty Images

We always love to see how places change over time. Taking a look at older images next to current-day photos of famous landmarks really makes us feel like we have a time machine. Here are some astonishing “then” and “now” pictures of 11 historical places throughout the world.

1. Fremont Street, Las Vegas

Fremont Street, 1953

View west along Fremont Street near the intersection of South 2nd, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 1953. (Photo Credit: Gene Lester/ Getty Images)

Located in Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is one of the most famous drives in the city. Today, it features the Fremont Street Experience, also known as “Glitter Gulch,” which is a barrel vault canopy that spans over four blocks of casinos.

Fremont Street 2021

Fremont Street, Las Vegas, December 2021. (Photo Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

2. St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling, India

St. Paul's School, Darjeeling India

St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling, India circa 1910. (Photo Credit: Print Collector/ Getty Images)

St. Paul’s School was first established in 1823 to meet the needs of a growing British and Anglo-Indian community in Calcutta. This school for boys has often been referred to as the “Eton of the East.” Even today, the school is still home to over 750 students.

Cotton and Milman Halls, St. Pauls School

St Paul’s School, Darjeeling India, circa 2012. (Photo Credit: Abhinav paulite/ Wikimedia Commons under public domain via CC BY-SA 4.0)

3. Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall

Hiroshima's museum of science and technology

The wrecked framework of the Museum of Science and Industry as it appeared shortly after the blast. City officials recently decided to preserve this building as a memorial though they had at first planned to rebuild it. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, detonated at an altitude of approximately 600 meters, 160 meters southwest of what was once Hiroshima’s Industrial Promotion Hall. The bomb instantly killed everyone inside the building, but the structure itself wasn’t destroyed due to its stone and steel construction. Today, it is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and the structure itself was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Dome

Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, circa 2021. (Photo Credit: Bloomberg/ Getty Images)

4. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu 1912

Machu Picchu circa 1912. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Public Domain)

Machu Picchu was rediscovered by American archeologist Hiram Bingham in July of 1911. For hundreds of years before its rediscovery, Machu Picchu was a secret known and kept by the peasants living in the region. This Incan city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and has since been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Machu Picchu 1990s

Machu Picchu circa 1990s. (Photo Credit: DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/De Agostini via Getty Images)

5. Cologne Cathedral, Germany

US Soldiers standing in the middle of the Cologne Cathedral

U.S. soldiers stand in the interior of the great gothic cathedral of Cologne, March 1945. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Cologne Cathedral, first built in 1298, amazingly survived all Allied bombardments during the Second World War. During the War, the Cathedral’s twin spires were a landmark to the Allies who were dropping bombs on the city. In total, the Cathedral was hit 14 times, and although heavily damaged, the structure remained intact. The Cologne Cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.

Cologne Cathedral 2011

Cologne Cathedral circa 2011. (Photo Credit: Peter Bischoff/ Getty Images)

6. Stonehenge

Stonehenge 1870s

Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, England circa 1877. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. No one knows for sure what the purpose of Stonehenge was, but it could have been a burial ground from its inception. Stonehenge has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1986.

Stonehenge circa 2002

Stonehenge circa 2002. (Photo Credit: Imagno/ Getty Images)

7. Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore 1929

Construction begins on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, circa 1929. The face of US president George Washington is already visible. (Photo Credit: FPG/ Getty Images)

Mount Rushmore features the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Construction on the monument took place from 1927 to 1941. In 2021, 2,074,986 people visited Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore 2020

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota, circa July 2020. (Photo Credit: SAUL LOEB/ Getty Images)

8. Court of the Lions, Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The Court of the Lions, 1855

The Court of Lions in the Alhambra, Spain, 1855. (Photo Credit: Heritage Images/ Getty Images)

The Court of the Lions is the main courtyard of the Palace of the Lions, located in the middle of the Alhambra palace and fortress. It was commissioned by the Nasrid sultan Muhammad V, and construction took place between 1362 and 1391. The site is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Court of Lions 2006

Courtyard Of The Lions circa 2006. (Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/ Getty Images)

9. Manhattan Bridge, New York

Manhattan Bridge 1909

Unfinished Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn under construction, circa 1909. (Photo Credit: Buyenlarge/ Getty Images)

The Manhattan Bridge is largely considered the predecessor of modern suspension bridges. Work on the bridge started in 1901, and was opened to traffic in December 1909. The bridge connects southeastern Manhattan with western Brooklyn.

Manhattan Bridge 2021

Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center sit behind the Manhattan Bridge, circa March 2021 (Photo Credit:Gary Hershorn/ Getty Images)

10. Baker Street Station, London England

Baker Street Station 1863

Passengers waiting on platforms at Baker Street underground station The Baker Street line, built by the Metropolitan Railway, was the first underground line to be built in London. It was opened on 10 January 1863 and ran from Baker Street to King’s Cross. Photo circa 1863. (Photo Credit: Science & Society Picture Library /Getty Images)

Baker Street Station was first opened in January of 1863, and is one of the oldest underground stations in the world. It is still a working subway station today.

Baker Street station 2021

The Baker Street underground station is empty during morning rush hour in London, Britain, on March 17, 2020.
(Photo Credit: Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images)

More from us: Travel Back in Time to These Charming Historic Villages Near London

11. Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

Ruins of the Reichstag Building, Berlin

Ruins of the Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, circa 1945 After the 1933 fire the building was never completely repaired and it was further damaged during Allied air raids. (Photo Credit: Culture Club/ Getty Images)

The Reichstag building was first opened in Berlin in 1894, and housed the Imperial Diet of Germany until the end of the First World War. The Reichstag building was extremely damaged by a fire in 1933, and was further damaged during the Second World War. It wasn’t until 1990 that the building underwent a full reconstruction. Today, it is once again the meeting place of the German government.

Reichstag Building 2021

Reichstag Building, October 2021. (Photo Credit: picture alliance/ Getty Images)